A U.S. judge has rejected Apple’s request to delay App Store offerings bypassing its payment system as the court ordered, saying it had 30 days to comply in a case brought by Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite.
Apple wanted the change – which was due to be implemented by the Dec. 9 deadline – to be put on hold as it appealed a September ruling by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in the antitrust lawsuit. filed by Epic.
Epic has filed a lawsuit to break Apple’s grip on the App Store, accusing the iPhone maker of operating a monopoly in its store of digital goods or services.
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In Tuesday’s ruling, Judge Gonzalez Rogers ordered Apple to loosen control of its payment options on the App Store, but said Epic had failed to prove that antitrust violations had occurred. place.
“Apple’s motion is based on a selective reading of the findings of this tribunal and ignores all of the findings that supported the injunction,” Gonzalez Rogers wrote in the order.
“Namely nascent antitrust conduct, including super-competitive commission rates resulting in extraordinarily high operating margins that have not been correlated to the value of its intellectual property. “
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The judge ruled that Apple’s policies not allowing application developers to direct users to payment platforms outside of the App Store as a factor of “antitrust conduct”.
“Apple believes that no further business changes should be necessary to take effect until all appeals in this matter are resolved,” an Apple spokesperson said in response to an AFP investigation.
“We intend to ask the Ninth Circuit for a stay based on these circumstances,” the spokesperson said, referring to a federal appeals court.
After the September decision, Apple said it was “very satisfied” with the decision overall.
The judge’s order definitively prohibited Apple from prohibiting developers from including in their applications “external links or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms.”
Apple can still require its payment systems to be used for in-app transactions.
For Epic and others, the ability to redirect users to a non-app payment method isn’t enough – they want players to be able to pay directly without leaving the game.
Epic and Apple have appealed the trial verdict.
Apple’s argument that letting app makers connect to external payment systems could lead to a loss of trust and integrity in the software platform on which its mobile devices are built is “overkill,” he said. writes the judge.
Apple updated its App Store rules in October to allow developers to contact users directly about payments, a concession in a legal settlement with companies challenging its tightly controlled market.
Under updated App Store rules, developers can now contact consumers directly about alternative payment methods, bypassing Apple’s 15 or 30 percent commission.
Apple proposed the changes in August as part of a legal settlement with developers of small apps.